Students Prepare for School-Wide Geograbee

Students once again can test their knowledge of Quito, Ecuador and the Straits of Magellan as Geograbee begins this week. This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Geograbee and the final year Peter Drench, Chair of the History and Social Sciences Department, will emcee the event. Drench was the emcee at the first Geograbee and has served as the emcee for the past six years. “As emcee I always tried to add a little excitement, playfulness and suspense, and tried to acknowledge the finalists who had worked hard to get to that point in the competition,” said Drench. “The History and Social Sciences Department Chair has provided the emcees for the Geograbee Finals, and I’m stepping down from that position at the end of this year…I’ve enjoyed this annual event but it’s now someone else’s turn,” he continued. The primary rounds of the Geograbee, the dorm contests, are scheduled to take place between January 23 and January 31. Day student competitions will take place on Thursday, January 27. The second round will begin on February 2 at the cluster finals. The final round will take place on February 8 in Upper Left of Paresky Commons. Geograbee has six winners, with winners from each cluster and the day students. “[For this year] I just want to keep the tradition alive,” said Susanne Torabi, the International Student Coordinator and Geograbee coordinator. “For the twentieth anniversary of the Geograbee, however, we are planning on including faculty due to expressed interest. Also, there will be additional prizes.” This year’s prizes include money, pizza parties and special cluster munches. The winners’ names will also be written on a world map outside the Dean of Students’ office. Torabi said students can look through newspapers and be aware of the global news to prepare. According to Torabi, several of the questions are from Boston Globe’s Globalist Quiz. Torabi hopes that participants will gain awareness on global issues, peoples and cultures from the Geograbee. Drench said, “For a contest like this, there is a certain amount of memorization that goes into it, but I would hope people will look on geography more as a way of doing some interesting thinking about complex issues rather than an accumulation of trivial nuggetoids.” Torabi said, “It is important to understand that we live in a cross cultural world surrounded by people with different backgrounds, who speak different languages.” Geograbee first began in 1997 when Nels Frye ’99 and Hal McCann ’99 were inspired to create a geography-based contest.